Updated: Mar 29
Brooke - Gone too soon – missed beyond words.
The most vile word begins with the letter C and apart from the obvious four letter word, this “C” word ravages through the body and decimates loved ones emotionally when left behind. This word is CANCER and this is my heartfelt tribute to a beautiful friend Brooke Roberts taken too soon with a hard fought six year battle that most people wouldn’t have the mental or physical strength to endure.
One of the most harrowing days of my life was to spend quality time with friends Brooke, Tenille and Olivia to say goodbye at her home in Bendigo. We had planned to do a Parisian tea and champagne party with all the trimmings, but Brooke was confined to her bed and fading fast at a frail 36kg. She said just having us there sitting on her bed was the best gift anyone could give her. We had organized a personalized and emotional video message from Tommy Little and Carrie Bickmore with thanks to @FOXFM and Helen Reizer. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house and if your “crush” Tommy Little can’t make
you cry no one can!
We often go through life inspired by many people, famous and historical figures, but in my case it is quite cathartic to say Brooke is my hero and my angel - Brooke’s heroic demeanor is my source of inspiration. Whenever I had a down day I would think of Brooke with all her strength, courage, grace, dignity and resilience. She never once complained, never said WHY ME, she just got on with treatment, operations, hospital visits, chemo, radiation therapy, and all the while worried about everyone else. Never had a bad word to say about anyone or anything, even in lockdown! With a selfless and humble attitude.
She accumulated friends everywhere. She had so much to give, a passion for dogs and animals and so much life to live. She would find the beauty and the good in everything and everyone! She touched everyone she met with her charm, kindness, wicked sense of humour and chic style!
It was very difficult to hear her explain how disconnected she felt from her body, when your mind was still willing to fight but your body was giving in. I was probably in denial for some-time as she was so believable with her positive spirit, conviction and courage! She SOLD me that she was going to get through it and come out the other side! It's horrible to see the pain and suffering and the struggle to be free associated with cancer.
I will miss our chats and Trivia nights with the Barking Mad team. I actually thought I was relatively intelligent until I played pub trivia and realized how much I didn’t know with the trivia questions. Still, I am quite good with 80’s music questions (faster than Shazam)! geography and movies. Then there was the time at Trivia I bit into a fantail lolly and broke half my tooth, needless to say I am not a fan of fantails anymore! I will miss our discussions about fashion and trends and the latest IT BAG gushing over Dior, Chanel, LV or Prada….
Fittingly you left us in designer style, silk YSL pj's, Bear your pampered pooch by your side and surrounded by family. Footsteps of angels setting you free. The sunset last night was eerie and beautiful at the same time, I looked up and knew you were beaming down on us. It was an extraordinary sparkling light, just like you!
Brooke, you have taught me the fragility of life and how to stay dignified in the face of adversity and to stop sweating the small stuff! In the end all that matters is family, friends and our animals who become our family, especially notable when you are faced with mortality. I know I won’t be able to hold onto you but you will be forever in my heart and my angel above.
RIP sweet angel, wishing you peace. I hope you have comfort in knowing how loved you are and how you will remain in our hearts as we raise many a glass of Champagne and Rosè in your name!
NO ANGER, NO BETRAYAL, NO HATRED, NO FEARS, but those you leave behind will be wallowing in tears. For a beautiful life cut so short and so unjust. Missed immeasurably, you will always remain a memory of exuberance, beauty, kindness and style - never forgotten.
Thank you Tenille, Merlyn, Olivia and Gav for your support, kindness and incredible friendship.
Love always Janine Lum. xx